The first TV election debate
I think that we did see the real David Cameron on the first debate. He looked very odd indeed - and that's saying something when he was alongside Brown who, as Neil Kinnock has said, looks better on Radio. I can’t quite put my finger on why Cameron looked so strange – almost like an alien – but no doubt the clever folks at Central Office are on the case.
Cameron’s voice was OK – how has he managed to re-modulate away from the Eton accent? Quite an achievement. He didn’t go for the throat at either Clegg or Brown and at times he got lost completely. His pre-drafted peroration at the end was excellent – as a CV. But I doubt that it really worked with a very cynical electorate.
He made, in my view, two bad mistakes:
The “40-year-old black man” was an appalling description of the man he met in Plymouth. It throws together all non-Caucasians into one black pot. Far better to have identified where the man originally came from as a six-year-old (The West Indies? India? Somewhere else?) rather than just categorist him (vaguely) by his colour. The question was about immigration not about colour!
The “As someone who has got two children, one of whom started at a state school in London…” was bollocks. His daughter is at a Faith primary school in Kensington utterly unlike the vast majority of state schools that ordinary kids have to go to. And does anyone believe that when the time comes Arthur Elwen won’t go to Eton like Daddy? Of course not!